Friday, May 28, 2010

Back Again - At Least for Now

I have returned! On my trip through the state yesterday — coming back from field trips, meetings, and regional errands — I drove from partly cloudy or partly sunny weather in the west and central part of the state into dark, cloudy weather to the east. The spring greens and yellows of flowers and grasses were intense in places, the greens from native grasses and cheat grass already turning reddish purple, the yellows from tansy mustard and a few native wild flowers. Wide swaths of tansy mustard, like the one above looking north into the Clan Alpine Mountains from near Middlegate Station just west of The Shoe Tree, really made some areas stand out. Tansy mustard — an introduced or exotic annual usually considered a weed — is sometimes called tumble mustard. It's one of the "tumbleweeds" you can see blowing through the flats later in the year.
Coming in toward Austin, the clouds started looking seriously threatening, and rain or snow showers and squalls could be seen all around, especially to the north. The snow-covered mountain poking above a low place in the Shoshone Mountains, is a peak in the Toiyabe Range south of Austin, possibly the 10,793-foot North Toiyabe Peak.